Elected state officials in California ask special interests to donate millions of dollars annually to their favorite charities. Now residents can get a clearer picture of who is asking, who is giving and who is getting the money.
The state Fair Political Practices Commission launched a new database search site on its website Thursday that makes it easier to see who the players are and compare them to determine who is raising the most money.
“This is yet another tool to provide the public information about their elected officials," Commission Chairwoman Jodi Remke said. "It shows who is asking for money and from whom, how much, and where it’s going. An informed public is vital to maintain government accountability.”
The state Senate on Thursday confirmed former state Sen. Isadore Hall III for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board despite opposition from Republicans.
Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Hall, a 45-year-old Democrat from Compton, to the position in January, drawing objections from agricultural leaders who noted he had supported the United Farm Workers in labor disputes with growers.
Republicans also want an investigation into allegations that Hall threatenedfarming leaders who opposed his selection.
Six months after California voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana, a television commercial has begun airing in the state that promotes a product aimed at cannabis users, but without ever mentioning the drug itself.
Eureka Vapor markets portable vaporizers for cannabis concentrates that the company produces. But you wouldn’t necessarily know that from the commercial, which shows actors portraying figures including athletes, dancers and members of the military with phrases such as “Discover Love” and "Discover Freedom" displayed. The ad ends with the product’s logo and Web address.
Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed criticism Wednesday that negotiations on this month's $52-billion transportation plan crossed the line into the illegal trading of votes by lawmakers, instead calling it a part of the process of finding political consensus.
"That is preposterous," Brown said of the accusations leveled by some Republicans in the Legislature. "When we fashion a bill in the democratic system, we don't do it by an autocratic dictator behind a closed door. You talk to people."
The governor and Democratic legislative leaders participated in intense negotiations earlier this month to strike the deal that raises fuel taxes and imposes a new annual vehicle registration fee to repair roads and highways and improve public transit. The proposal, Senate Bill 1, needed a super majority of votes in both the Assembly and Senate to pass.
Democratic National Committee leader Tom Perez will address California Democrats at their annual convention in May, the state party announced Wednesday.
Perez, who was elected chairman of the DNC in February, previously served as secretary of Labor under President Obama.
The state party convention takes place May 19 to 21 in Sacramento. The state party did not say which day Perez will deliver his keynote address; it previously announced Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) would speak on May 20.
Backers of a bill to make it harder for police departments to discipline officers for making false statements say the current process ensnares officers who make simple mistakes.
But opponents of the legislation argue that building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve requires greater accountability. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) cleared its first committee hurdle Tuesday.
A state proposal that sought to expand the list of violent crimes under the California penal code failed to make it out of Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 75, introduced by state Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), would have reclassified more than 20 offenses as violent felonies, including certain forms of rape and crimes such as inflicting injury on a child and assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon.
The legislation was voted down with a 5-2 vote along party lines. It was granted the option of “reconsideration,” meaning the committee could take it up again at a later date. But its chances of approval are slim.